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Helping to tackle homelessness

2018 - July, Latest news

A new report from the charity Shelter has blamed high private-sector rents, frozen housing benefits, and a lack of social housing for the latest homeless figures. There are now around 33,000 families who are homeless even though they are in work, almost double the rate in 2013.

The data are published in a new report by Shelter’s Social Housing Commission. It shows that more than half of those living in temporary accommodation have jobs, in spite of common assumptions that homelessness and unemployment are linked. The charity has said the biggest cause of homelessness in the UK is the loss of a private-sector tenancy.

And the lack of suitable affordable homes means that even working families find themselves in temporary lodgings in low-end hotels, hostels, or sharing large houses.  

The highest proportion of homeless working households in temporary housing was in London (60%). The east of England and the south-east were joint second on 44%.

PA Housing is committed to delivering affordable homes and is concentrating its efforts in some of the worst affected areas, including London and the South East. Our Corporate Plan has set a target of providing at least 500 new homes a year for the next 10 years.

We do all we can to avoid seeking eviction for any family.  We want our customers to prosper, but recent changes to the benefits system, including payment caps and the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) have created new challenges for them, and us. 

Last year PA Housing’s Financial Inclusion and Tenancy Sustainment teams helped to secure £3m extra income for 1100 customers which contributed to a 33% reduction in eviction rates. The teams are experts in benefit rules, particularly around Universal Credit. Through early intervention we can avoid problems before they occur, and tailor our advice.

We cannot secure extra money for everyone, but try to prevent them from falling into debt. Customers know they can come to us for guidance through claims and appeals.

 

If you have been personally affected by the contents of the article and need support, please get in touch.


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